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Opera Creams

Opera Cream Candy These cream-filled chocolates are so smooth and rich you won’t be able to stop at just one!

I work in a genetics lab.  Every year at Christmas my co-worker Gail brings in the most wonderful candy I’ve ever eaten.  Every year I ask for the recipe and she smiles and says that she can give me the recipe but that I’d need to visit and learn the recipe from her.  Now that I’ve made it, I understand.  This is not a typical Easybaked recipe, it’s very involved.  It’s fun and challenging and oh- soooo worth the effort though!

Gail recently retired and about a week ago I visited her in her kitchen to learn how to make opera creams.

This is a recipe passed down to her from her mom, who had all kinds of thoughts about the making of this candy.  My favorite was that the recipe works best on sunny days and if it’s raining you might as well just wait to make it another day.  We had a beautiful sunny December day to make our candy on, so I’m sure she would have approved.

Lets start with the recipe– that’s the easy part.  I’m going to post it twice– once with pictures and videos and once just straight so you can read it easier.

Gail's moms recipe card

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used tempered dark chocolate bits

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup into a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.

Use a pastry brush to brush water down sides of panGail and her moms candy thermometer

  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)

Bring to 240F degreesDon't stir!!!

  • Remove from stove and add salt, butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)

Pour into a non-plastic dishCooled mixtureKnead into a soft cream

  • Work with hands until firm and creamy- it takes 20-30 minutes and this is pure craziness….here are the stages to expect:
  1. sticky caramel- fairly firm
  2. slimy/ buttery texture– almost like its falling apart
  3. sticky but workable
  4. so sticky that you literally cannot move your fingers and you are sure you will have to get the mixture surgically removed.
  5. no longer sticky- but like playdough with little crumbs falling off at the edges…keep kneading!
  6. Finally creamy and smooth- kneads together in one beautiful dough- like ball.

I filmed Gail as she went through this process.  Click HERE to see the near-miraculous transformation from sticky to creamy smooth!

  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days….yes. TWO DAYS.
  • Bring cream filling back to room temp and roll into balls.

Roll into ballsDip into chocolate...

  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.


Opera Cream CandyMy thoughts: amazingly yummy.  The cream is just like no other candy I’ve tried.  It is worth every bit if the effort it took us to make these.  I found myself cringing as people popped them whole into their mouths though…I kept thinking, “SAVOR those!!!  You’ve no idea how hard I worked on them!!!”  So hard, in fact that I took a two hour nap when I got home!

Opera cream CandyNow for the recipe in an easy-to-read format:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used dark tempered chocolate bits

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup to a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.
  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)
  • Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)
  • Work with hands until firm and creamy.
  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days.
  • Bring cream filling to room temp and roll into balls.
  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.

Opera Cream Candy

A huge “thank-you” to Gail for spending so much time teaching me her family recipe!  We had such a fun day together cooking AND trying lime phosphates while we waited for candy to cool!

Having fun while the candy cools!

Enjoy!!!!!  ~r

Other (easier!) Christmas recipe ideas from Easybaked~ Click on the image to be taken to the recipe:

Chocolate molten lava cupcakesCake balls filled with cream cheese frostingChocolate bonbonsHot Chocolate Pops!

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About Ruthanne

Ruthanne is a scientist with a passion for baking and food photography. Using her kitchen as a lab, she loves experimenting with a variety of flavors and ingredients to create unique, fun and ultimately tasty delights! Thus she created EasyBaked, a website where sugar and chocolate overflow in fun and easy recipes. Her Motto: Money can’t buy happiness -- but it can buy marshmallows, and that’s nearly the same thing! www.easybaked.net

31 responses »

  1. These sound awesome and I love hand me down recipes!

    Reply
  2. These look amazing! I am so intimidated by most candy making recipes (especially those that require a thermometer), but your creations look so good… and I bet they were worth the effort! :)

    Reply
  3. Ruthanne!

    these are beautiful! and it seems like such a fun experience to learn from Gail! :) Thanks to you and her for sharing this recipe (although it looks tough).

    The opera cream results sure look amazing!!

    Happy holidays dear!

    felicia

    Reply
  4. Ok,once again we are so alike! This is the same thing that my grandmother used to make. We call it Opera Fudge, and it is my favorite Christmas candy! Love you!

    Reply
  5. These look absolutely divine, and indeed an art to make them. I am drooling over the photos. And such an old recipe. Beautiful and perfect when they knew how to make things wonderfully simple.

    Reply
    • Thank you! I found myself thinking about simpler times when recipes could take time and technique. It made me happy to get a taste of those moments. There is a beauty in old recipes.

      Reply
  6. These really do look like they are worth the effort—and those lime phosphates don’t look too bad, either ;)

    Reply
  7. What a fun experience for you and they look perfect for the holidays! Happy holidays to you!

    Reply
  8. what a crazy recipe! sounds yummy though!

    Reply
  9. Omg those look delicious!! So indulgent! I have a similar type of recipe that has more of a soft creamy interior like a Ferrero Roche with peanut butter and cream and its a vegan recipe but doesn’t taste like it at all! You might like it, especially since they are so easy and fast to make! They are my ShotglassTruffles! These are just gorgeous. I’m salivating!

    Reply
  10. petit4chocolatier

    Beyond delicious!!

    Reply
  11. I wish you a merry christmas and a wonderful new year.Thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes. see you again in 2013.kisses

    Reply
  12. I made the Opera Creams today and was impressed with how easy the making of the “taffy” was. I separated the taffy into four balls and added flavorings (lemon, maple, strawberry extracts) to three of them and kneaded each individual ball. This took all day to my surprise. I’m a bit concerned about the finished “play dough” like balls because mine are hard as a rock. It was amazing how quickly it dried and hardened when it got to this stage, so quickly in fact I felt I flubbed up. None of the balls took longer than 35 minutes to knead. All four are covered and in the refrigerator like the directions say to do. My concern is………..am I going to be able to roll this mixture into bite size balls or have I created a big mess? LOL, anyway, a taste of each before placing in the fridge was very pleasing to the taste buds. It’s going to be hard waiting two days to finish this project. I also wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the video it was helpful, just wish it had parts of the entire process. Thank you for sharing your talent, ideas and Gail’s family recipe with us. Veeclaire

    Reply
    • Well- you are a brave soul to try this recipe- and even braver to experiment with it on the 1st time out! That 2 days of waiting is a killer, isn’t it? I sincerely hope that it all works out for you- I know that our finished dough had a play-dough consistency- as long as you can roll it into balls and dip it in chocolate,it should be fine. Those 2 days in the fridge do something with the sugars to create a smoother consistency too. Best of luck- let us know how it turns out!

      Reply
      • Happy to report that the two day wait was well worth it. The “play dough” balls were easily manipulated into shapes then returned to fridge for an hour. It was fun, I made different shapes for each flavor, square, rectangle, mounds and balls so I could distinguish each one. I removed a dozen at a time and dipped them and waited another hour before tasting the finished product. My husband was so amazed I made these……………OMGoodness those are delicious! I have to agree with him and you……..savor each piece, enjoy the flavor and the creamy consistency, they are so worth the time and effort. I will do this again, and again, and again. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I enjoyed my 3 day adventure. Just for reference my batch made 7.25 dozen. Veeclaire

        Reply
  13. Pingback: Lime Soda Cupcakes! | eASYbAKED

  14. Your description was spot on and the video showed it beautifully. I have my batch sitting in fridge and I am just busting for it to be ready. I could eat it just as is. What a great experience.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you are trying them! It is quite a process, but there’s nothing quite like the flavor and creamy texture of these…I’ve been craving them lately and wondering if I have the time to make them again…. enjoy!!!!!

      Reply
  15. Quick question: At what point would you add flavorings, such as liqueur or brandy? I was thinking it would be best to do it just before the kneading process, but if I was making four or five different fillings, it sure would be nice to knead the whole batch almost to completion and then add the flavorings at the end. Thoughts?

    Reply
    • You can add the flavorings after the cream is made- you’ll have to experiment with how much to add. I think a little will go a long way!! This is also when you would add nuts or coconut. Have fun!

      Reply
      • Thanks, that’s encouraging! I do a hundred pushups every morning, but kneading those small batches was more work than that. I have a lot of respect for Gail.

        Btw, just in case someone else is as bad at reading directions as I am, I ignored your “Do not stir!” warning and the whole thing turned out very grainy. But, I just put everything back in the pan and brought it back up to temperature again and it was fine the second time around. So, the recipe is somewhat forgiving for people like me.

        Reply

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